bgp.tools December 2023 Changelog

After spending most of this year travelling this month’s update comes off the back of some focused time being spent on development and operational improvement.

Along with adding capacity to the system, several new and useful features have been added to the site as well!

New IXP Page tools

The internet exchange point page has been improved with a handful of new features, with the most interesting one (in my opinion) being that you can now see which next hops dominate the route servers in terms of prefixes. This could potentially be interesting if you are joining a exchange and you are trying to figure out who would be available on the route servers immediately upon connecting. This feature is available only on exchanges where bgp.tools has a collector on the exchange or has a BGP feed from the exchanges routeserver.

In addition, when viewing internet exchange points that you are not a member of, you can check a box to remove the peers that you are already capable of peering on other exchanges. This is helpful when you’re trying to see what new peers an internet exchange could bring you!

Improper IXP packet broadcasts are now displayed

Since Internet exchanges are large broadcast domains we can sometimes see (when bgp.tools is directly connected to the internet exchange) when peers are sending improper broadcast or multicast packets into the exchange. The most common one of these is an IPv6 Router Advertisement, so common that it has its own icon (the red RA icon).

For other kinds of improper packets bgp tools will Mark them with a yellow exclamation mark icon if you click on this icon you can get further details on what bgp tools has detected. Detections last for two hours, so if the problem is corrected by the network the warning icon should disappear within that time frame.

Current detected traffic includes:

  • IPv6 Router Advertisements
  • MikroTik Discovery Protocol
  • OSPF Hello
  • IS-IS Hello
  • LLDP
  • DHCPv4
  • Multicast DNS

BGP sessions now have viewable stats

All networks that are feeding bgp.tools data can now see their historical metrics about their sessions.

This is useful if you’re trying to debug when an issue started with your feed, but it’s also often interesting just seeing how your route count changes over time. Metrics tracked by this system are route count ( the amount of unique prefixes that you are sending to bgp.tools ), messages and bytes per second of the BGP session itself, and network reachability details such as the TCP latency and the IP TTL!

Paid customers can export their data as MRT

Paid customers and selected BGP sessions (such as internet exchange point route servers) have their sessions recorded automatically by bgp.tools, Those sessions can now download their historical data as MRT files.

This includes data around the individual bgp update packets (or as a site calls them MRT) or you can download the dump files that are produced every time that website takes a internal snapshot to compile other metrics (this typically happens every four hours)

The small things

As always there are loads of small improvements to bgp.tools that improved the site behind the scenes, here are some of the more visible small improvements:

  1. Major connectivity improvements to the bgp.tools client agent
  2. Fix “Blank” IXP VLANs from showing up on some IXP pages
  3. DNS Lookups now automatically apply punycode when needed
  4. Some search queries now run faster
  5. The anycast data export now includes a CSV file with the IP that is pingable
  6. Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba now has a flag icon
  7. IXPs that use ARP sponging are now handled correctly
  8. External websites with incomplete TLS certificate chains are now able to be used in edit requests